The experience of making the film for four years, has been tedious but extremely rewarding. What a movement can do at local levels for sustenance of its people, the film wishes to exhibit to the world as a model of a revolution.
Director Shaharbin Aboobacker in conversation with EARTHAMAG on his experience with making Jal Hai Toh Kal Hai.
It was nothing short of a stroke of luck that took me there and I felt that I had to use my skills to tell their story because if not me, this story would never get told.
Because of its inaccessibility and inhospitable terrain, Karauli has hardly received any government aid. In fact, no collector has visited the place since Independence. The residents are cut off from the mainland with only sporadic electricity, and the radio as the sole connect with the outside world. Road networks are poor so only one or two modes of transport ply in the region. The closest hospital is more than 20 kilometres away and most children don’t go to school. In such a harsh scenario, the scale at which the people have transformed the landscape just blew me away.
We chose to focus on the people and the movement rather than on “the problem.” I began filming in 2012 and went back to Karauli for four years to film in multiple schedules and seasons. The film captures the progress of the water conservation movement, which has grown organically over this time in the face of extreme natural pressures.
We are staring at a game-changing water crisis, so it is the right time to use the film to start conversations about water conservation.
Read the full story here.
India is considered the world’s third-largest grain producer after China and the United States. 46% of India’s land under cultivation has access to irrigation facilities.
The balance 54% is unirrigated and hence dependent on rainwater for cultivation making it seasonal in nature. Productivity is much lower in rain-fed cultivation, usually ranging from one to two tons per hectare for food grains compared to up to four tons with irrigation.
The flip side to irrigation in India is that it is largely dependent on groundwater. Poor water management practices has put tremendous pressure on these groundwater reserves. The importance of taking up double-cropping is more than ever but only sustainable measures can ensure longevity. The need of the hour is water conservation before erratic monsoons and depleting groundwater reserves create an unimaginable food crisis.
Rajasthan constitutes 10 per cent land mass of the country but only has 1.1 per cent surface water making it almost completely dependent on ground water. What’s worse is that only 10 per cent of wells have water that is safe for drinking owing to dangerously high fluoride levels.
On an average, a Rajasthani woman walks more than 14,000 km a year just to fetch water! Women spend most of their time collecting water leaving them no time for anything else. The state holds the dubious distinction of having the highest difference in male-female literacy at 28% against the national average of 16.7%.
Minerals have always been considered to play an important role in the the economic development of every country. But the ill-effects of mining are always understated. Mining causes release of harmful elements in the air and soil leading to contamination of soil and ground water. It degrades the soil quality and fertility making it toxic for undertaking agriculture. Another major consequence of mining is large scale deforestation. In Karauli district of Rajasthan known for its ‘red stone’ years of indiscriminate mining has caused traditional water channels to disappear leaving acres of barren uncultivable land.
An average urban household utilises 75 litres of water a day for washing utensils. That equals to more than 27,000 litres or more than 7,000 gallons of water in a year. Alternately one can cultivate 1kg of rice using 3,000 litres of water.